10.20.09

Posts Tagged ‘sober

once again, it’s all true

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Not that the element of freedom and therefore of sin is absent from alcoholism. It is present, but in a complex and obscure way. There is a mental element in alcoholism; there is probably a physical element in it in many cases; but a third element, the spiritual one, must also be considered.

via Grace Is Sufficient – Why Alcoholics Anonymous?, The Furrow, January, 1952.

Therapist K said to me a couple weeks ago (she works sometimes at the detox I was in twice this summer) she had talked about me some with Dr. V, my Dr there and now outside, and they were in agreement that I had a ton of psychological mess tangled in my alcoholism. ( I knew that, but I wanted to see how long a sentence I could write.)

It’s deadly clear to me – my decisions to drink are acts of violence, deeply ingrained self-debasement rituals. They are also decidedly medical; the physical aspect is most clear to me when I consider memories of lying drunk in the dark, compulsively picking up an empty bottle and trying it over and over all night, a genius of alcoholic sorrow.

The remarks block quoted above intrigued me – I may not have ever seen any writing, commentary, or speaker throw in a matter-of-fact reference to freedom (sin!) in the middle of an essay about powerlessness. I love it.  I believe it’s all true and everyone is right.  I am a real alcoholic, yes, but I have to live with what I could live with. (What I still could if the supernatural Santa Christ stops favoring me.)

The paradox is as comfortable and friendly as your neighborhood “make a decision.”  Which I say 100% not tongue in cheek. For real.  Even in powerlessness, I have to decide.

Which is spiritual sounding, so probably spiritual really.  Brilliant how it all comes together.  Seriously, though, it makes sense that this wheel of categorically ridiculous wastrel abject torment is equal parts mind body spirit. And spirit is moving itself up in priorities. I tried meditating today. I listen to zencast. I do the mindfulness thing all the time! Plus,   somehow I want to go to meetings, so I’m rolling with it these days. Disillusionment is wary faith for now.  I seem to care about others sometimes. (That’s another post.)

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Written by xty

September 13, 2010 at 23:49

antabuse

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I told my Dr today that I was relieved to be on Antabuse. I am. It is an acceptance of powerlessness on a different level, a mechanical level, about which I have had mixed feelings but now do not.

I have drank on Antabuse 4 times – amounts ranging from trace to full-blown in my system –  and have been afraid or reluctant to use it again until now. I feel comfortable with it now. There are some ethical gray areas with this drug, or at least one. One can die combining it with alcohol…but one can die from just alcohol too.  The idea is that impulsive drinking is ruled out, and the several days required to clear it out of one’s system provide an opportunity for a return to sanity or a request for help.

The difference in my reaction can be described in how I thought about the possible inevitability I would want to drink while taking it. I used to think “Oh god I might drink on it and have that horrible reaction or at best have to wait days before I can drink safely, no way. Too risky. Too risky, I might suffer if I change my mind.” Now I think “Good no chance I can ruin my life again without an interval where I can run around telling everyone I’m thinking about that and throw myself on the mercy of…whatever…support network, higher power, common sense, a decision to watch all the seasons of Lost back to back in my free time while being monitored by friends…”

Does it matter what I think? I think so.

Written by xty

September 8, 2010 at 13:32

days

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This week I changed to 2nd shift and it is also hot as a motherfucker. I have a semblance of serenity but it is easily undermined  and  my meetings, interpersonal life,  and exercise are all compromised but I’m okay.

It’s all just days.

Written by xty

July 27, 2010 at 09:23

Posted in shut up and paint

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golden text

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Yesterday I reread my notes from when I was in detox a couple of weeks ago.  I also re-read most of the AA Number 3 story in the Book, which is what these particular notes were on.  Page 191: “Bill looked across at my wife and said to her:  ‘ Henrietta, the Lord has been so wonderful to me, curing me of this terrible disease, that I just want to keep talking about it and telling it to people.’ …This has been sort of a golden text to me.”

From that I took most note of two points:  Bill attributed his sobriety strictly to a supernatural act, curing at that, and the emphasis on sharing with others. The fact that AA #3 considers these points a “golden text” feels like something I should always bear in mind.

I heard a new AA cliche: oldtimer to relapser: “I hope you’re out of good ideas.”  Again and again I am drawn to the texts and pick up messages  that underscore the spiritual and service based nature of real sobriety.

Written by xty

July 14, 2010 at 07:19

The Americans with Disabilities Act, FMLA, and God

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I’m damn blessed (yup) to have been welcomed back to work following my drinking a few weeks ago.  Even if I had worked at this generous and kind (one chance, which is more than I have a right to) company for longer than 12 months, there is no ADA coverage for absenteeism because one is drunk – only for treatment. For example, if I were sober, after one year of employment, and the only time I could make it to the only alcoholism treatment in town was during work, I could pursue ADA/FMLA intermittent leave and the company really couldn’t push back.

However, calling in the second work day of the week, drunk, advising I was out the day before because I had “relapsed,” or, more accurately, gotten drunk, and was seeking help following my contact with HR (which I did, gotta love that whole emergency room-to-detox process, yum, I just keep going back for more) doesn’t mean shit in terms of job protection. Ever. Now, the company happens to have a policy which does not terminate for job abandonment until 3 days have been missed no call/no show, but they also would be well, well within their rights to have told me “have a good life!”

It is just a personal decision on maybe 2 or 3 people’s part – who, I don’t really know, I’m guessing – that I was invited back to work. I missed 8 working days total – one out flapping in the breeze and the rest in ER or detox.

I really walked away from a plane crash on this one (in terms of safety as well, but that’s another post) and am blood-turns-to-ice well aware and stunned and grateful in “oh my fucking god I really gotta make sure this doesn’t happen again, I mean really really” kinds of ways.

Written by xty

July 7, 2010 at 07:10

Posted in gratitude, relapse

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I drank some more.

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back after stint in detox….mostly I’ve just been struggling with cravings. driving past a liquor store just fucks with me. I can and do gain comfort, even joy, from so many things, so many, but that demon lusts with a ferocity unmatched…espcially given the bad outcomes followed by worse.

Did I drink because the devil wants to kill me? Did I drink because I don’t pray on my knees every night? Was it because of all those books I’ve borrowed and never even read, much less returned? Never did 90 in 90? A devastating paucity of of dopamine D2 receptors?

There is nothing to figure out. Only a grave, grave respect for this insanity and a prayer every moment.

Written by xty

July 2, 2010 at 09:12

Posted in alcoholism, prayers

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I drank.

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I drank. For a few days, last week. I’m sober now, and kinda pretty much ok. More later. Just checking in, as I am sure all both my loyal readers have been waiting with bated breath. Uh oh..will I change the blog name? Hm. I’m thinking no….